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Comment So it's an opposed piston two stroke . . . (Score 1) 570

I'll give them credit for an interesting way of arranging the crank, con rods, and barrels, to give two opposed piston two-stroke cylinders running off a single crank. I also notice the motor's all shown in CGI cutaways and not as an actual running device. There's also some crucial details omitted in the cutaways that make me wonder how they're solving some of the obvious issues with this engine.

Now, personally, I'm a huge fan of two-stroke opposed-piston motors, but usually in Diesel form. There's also some well known issues with getting these motors to run clean, which is one reason we haven't seen a lot of them since the Deltic motors of the 40's. Does it have potential? Sure. Might even be lighter than a counter-crank arrangement, but hell, the Deltics were popular back in their day precisely because of their power density - finally being supplanted in Maritime service by turbines.

Of course, there's currently some rather interesting engines already well into development with some impressive power densities.

Seriously, though, engine efficiency is great, but we'd all be better off scrapping those 4 ton behemoth SUV's and switching to lighter, more aerodynamic, vehicles.

Comment Solutions. . . (Score 1) 504

I see a lot of people posting, but very few people actually trying to address your problem.

The fact is when you're at sea you'll be away from any kind of reasonably priced internet service. It's just a fact. No land lines on the open ocean, and bi-directional sat service is expensive.

Cruising sailors / powerboaters are usually stuck with either paying insane amounts for some kind of real time bi-directional satlink (which is what the ship has) or spending a lot less for some sort of Store and Forward satellite system.

Another option open to cruisers is using HF radio and RTTY to send email around. Slow, but surprisingly reliable. That'd require either a marine HF, or a Ham Radio license, and the appropriate hardware.

None of those may be an option for you.

There is a product called Sailmail that might suit your needs. Essentially a little hand held device that has an accoustic coupler in it. Call into the server to send and receive your mail over any phone.

Ultimately, I'll give you one piece of advice. Namely: For waht you need, forget Slashdot. You'll get more people talking about how many seconds a day 100 minutes works out to. Try something like the user forums over on Cruising World or any of the other cruising / sailing forums.

Talk to people who actually know the subject matter at hand.

and enjoy the semester.

Comment Re:Wrong again - yes, you are. (Score 5, Insightful) 388

Mass transit is the answer - not just BART - REAL mass transit. I cannot stress enough that if one travels to Japan and sees for oneself how fucking cool and efficient the Japanese mass rail system is - billion dollar proposals like this would die at conception.

No. Sorry. Mass transit is part of the solution, but it is not the solution.

The problem lies in the inherent difference between mass transit and public transit and most people don't recognize the difference.

Mass transit focuses on getting mass number of people between various high density locations. These are your medium to heavy rail systems. For the Bay Area that's BART and CalTrain.

In places like Japan, where they have high population densities, it works great. There's a reason places like Tokyo, Moscow, New York, London, etc., can have fantastically efficient mass transit systems: they have the population density to deal with it.

Public transit on the other hand focuses on being a 'vehicle replacement' so people in lower density areas can actually give up their cars. This is taxies up through light rail. Fewer passengers, but more convenient and more versatile.

Bay Area geography doesn't really favor Mass Transit. It's why BART basically sucks for commuting. With the exception of MUNI linking well to BART, most of the Public to Mass links suck.

The whole electric car infrastructure is an expensive idea, and it talks to the whole "chicken and the egg" problem. Without infrastructure, electric cars are useless. Without electric cars, no one will build the infrastructure. This is actively solving the infrastructure problem ahead of the cars.

Is it a good idea? Ultimately, yes. Is it the right idea? That's a lot harder to say. A massive bay area wide fleet of on-demand bio-diesel fueled hybrid shuttle buses might be better. But who's to say? Cars are a part of US culture partially because of our geography. We live in suburbia, which is inherently tied in with car culture.

Unless your mass transit plan includes re-arranging US cities and how people live in this country, it will never be the solution.


The Courts

Submission + - Man Sues Viacom for Sponge Bob Rights

mposth writes: "A Bay Area man is suing Viacom for $1.6 billion over rights to Sponge Bob Square Pants. Cartoonist Troy Walker claims he created Bob Spongee, an unemployed cartoon sponge, in 1991. Walker created a comic strip and sold 1,000 "Bob Spongie" dolls. Viacom's attorneys have said in court documents that "Sponge Bob" is different from "Bob Spongee." But Walker says: "It is more than ironic that two working class sponges are named Bob. Both characters are unemployed. Both characters live in a house concept.'' Walker filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Nickelodeon, Viacom Inc., Paramount Studios and Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob. Just Tuesday, Viacom slammed Google's YouTube with a $1 billion copyright infringement suit. http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/l ocal/16872168.htm"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - 7 Steps to Safer WiFi

ancientribe writes: We've all done it: You need quick access to email, so you jump on that free WiFi connection at the local coffee shop, the airport, or a conference hotel. What are the chances you'll get hacked, anyway? Truth is, if you use unsecured WiFi in the clear, without any encryption or security, you're asking for it. This Dark Reading article provides 7 security measures you can take to stay secure on a public WiFi connection.

http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=119 473&WT.svl=news1_1

Submission + - EFF forces DMCA abuser to apologize

destinyland writes: "The EFF just announced victory over a serial abuser of DMCA copyright notices. To set an example, their settlement required Michael Crook to record a video apology to the entire internet for interfering with free speech. He's also required to withdraw every bogus DMCA notice, and refrain from future bogus notices, never contest the original image again, and take a remedial class on copyright law. He'd attempted to use flaws in the DMCA to censor an embarrassing picture of himself that he just didn't want appearing online — but instead the whole thing backfired."

Submission + - SETI@Home is now the World's Fastest Supercomputer

jemecki writes: I was looking through the distributed computing statistics at BOINCstats today and I noticed that SETI@Home distributed computing grid just passed 280 TeraFLOPS in computing power. The reason this is so remarkable is that the fastest supercomputer in the world Blue Gene/L ALSO operates at a sustained 280 TeraFLOPS. So while governments are busy using their supercomputers to model bombs and nuclear weapons, the geeks have put together the world's fastest computer and they're using it to look for aliens. Awesome.

Searching for Botnet Command & Controls 114

Orange Eater writes "eWeek has a story about a group of high-profile security researchers intensifying the search for the command-and-control infrastructure used to power botnets for malicious use. The idea is to open up a new reporting mechanism for ISPs and IT administrators to report botnet activity." From the article: "Operating under the theory that if you kill the head, the body will follow, a group of high-profile security researchers is ramping up efforts to find and disable the command-and-control infrastructure that powers millions of zombie drone machines, or bots, hijacked by malicious hackers."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Bored, bored, bored. . . .

Ok, so what was I thinking at the end of Sept when I decided to walk away from my InfoSec position at Cisco? I'd wanted to get into security for ages, and finally managed to get a seat with one of the best teams in the business. Silly me to leave, right?


Journal Journal: STS107

For the second time, a close friend called me early in the morning and told me, with an overwhelming pain in his voice, to turn on the television.

For the second time in my life, I sat in front of the TV and listened to Dan Rather, and cried at what I saw.

For the second time, we'd lost a shuttle.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Macs at LISA

Ok, ok, been over a week since I got back from the LISA 2002 conference in Philly. Overwhelming impression is "Where the hell is everyone?" While I ran into a few old friends from previous years, the real surprise was how FEW people were around that I knew.

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"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce